On Tuesday, Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety; Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu and Senator Clark Carignan announced legislation to end the early release of criminals while strengthening the rights of victims.
Our Conservative Government is listening to the concerns of Canadians, and we agree – the corrections and conditional release system should put public safety first. The rights of criminals should not come before the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadians. The punishment should fit the crime.
The current system of Accelerated Parole Review allows white-collar criminals and others convicted of “non-violent offences” to get day parole after only serving one-sixth of their sentence and full parole after serving only one-third.
This system doesn’t put the rights of victims ahead of criminals. That is why our Conservative Government is proposing legislation to change the current system.
The proposed amendments would also:
- Stand up for law-abiding Canadians by making the protection of our society the paramount principle of the system;
- Enshrine in law the right of victims to be involved in parole board hearings, and keep victims better informed about the behaviour and handling of offenders;
- Help ensure that parole is truly deserved by moving toward a system of earned parole: increasing offender responsibility and accountability, and strengthening the disciplinary system;
- Authorize police to arrest an offender who is breaking release conditions, without having to get a warrant; and
- Work for victims by using the seriousness of an offence, in decisions made by the National Parole Board.
Since we were elected in 2006, our Conservative Government has taken action to get tough on crime. Our Government is taking further action to keep our streets and communities safe, and to strengthen Canadians’ faith in our justice system.